U.S., Mexico close to Colorado River deal

Posted: Nov 14, 2012

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CO River Delta

U.S. and Mexican government leaders are close to signing a pact that would add parts of Mexico to a Colorado River water-sharing agreement, officials said last week.

The final documents surrounding the agreement are being circulated among the seven Western states that would be involved in the pact: Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

The terms of the agreement became public with agenda items for a meeting later this week with two Las Vegas water agencies. The pact would be an addendum to a 1944 U.S.-Mexico water treaty.

Some of the provisions include Mexico adjusting its delivery schedule during low reservoir conditions with the country having access to more water during high reservoir conditions. The agreement also calls for a pilot program of water releases that would replenish wetlands in the Colorado River Delta of the Gulf of California.

"The concern is that these are sensitive negotiations," said Kip White, a Bureau of Reclamation spokesman. "It has taken a long time to get here. We're looking forward to a culmination of this later this month."

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